There was a time when weed commerce was all about the goods: no frills required. If a dealer was reliable, readily available and sold good product, that was more than enough for a customer to go through with the transaction. Stoners would happily pay for a plastic baggie with the strain scribbled in Sharpie; hell, any receptacle that would somewhat mask the smell was more than enough to warrant repeat purchases. After all, all that matters is what’s on the inside, right?
As cannabis is increasingly legalized across the country, these transactions are moving from the alleyway to the mainstream marketplace. And in the mainstream marketplace, perception is everything. In modern consumer culture, a customer’s decision to choose one product vendor over another depends much less on its specific features–which are often comparable if not identical within a category–and much more on the emotional connection they attribute to the brand.
The cannabis industry is still in its infancy but growing quickly as new cannabis companies try and gain a competitive edge in unchartered territory. Now that their product isn’t their most important selling point, the smartest companies (and likely the ones that will last long-term) are the ones focused on building brand recognition: these companies systematically identify a set of values and a target demographic and build up from that foundation. As a product-based industry, the most important design decision a brand must make is, of course, is the packaging. The cannabis packaging on this list demonstrates a keen understanding that the product will only be as desirable as the box it comes in. Awesome package design equals awesome weed: perception is everything.